Clintonville has not failed to plan, but now comes the hard part of trying to ensure that the plan does not fail.

Clintonville has not failed to plan, but now comes the hard part of trying to ensure that the plan does not fail.

A subcommittee of the Clintonville Area Commission's planning and development committee, headed by District 5 representative Nick Cipiti, is working on implementing the Clintonville Area Neighborhood Plan, which was adopted by Columbus City Council on March 2, 2009.

"The plan provides a comprehensive vision for shaping neighborhoods based on existing conditions, needs and goals to bring continuity as we move from a 'streetcar suburb' into the 21st century," Cipiti wrote in an e-mail that accompanied documents relating to the efforts of the subcommittee. "It supports continuing current land uses but also considers recommendations for mixed use structures on High Street and Indianola corridors.

"Further, the plan anticipates increases in pedestrians and bicyclists, and recommends accommodations on (North) High Street, improvements for selected crosswalks and repairs to priority sidewalks."

"A neighborhood plan provides an opportunity for the community to help shape and direct the pattern of growth and development within their neighborhood," according to a brochure from the city's Department of Development Planning Division.

The plan specifically addresses land use, urban design, transportation, economic development, natural resources and open space.

While Cipiti pointed out that major development issues still will be handled on a case-by-case basis through the variance and zoning committee, the Clintonville Area Commission and eventually city council, the subcommittee, working with city neighborhood planner Christine Palmer, is seeking "to identify those items that can be implemented by the CAC and neighborhood volunteers."

"These items are to be prioritized starting with the least expensive, given the state of the current city budget," Cipiti wrote.

The members of the subcommittee, which has met several times and created a seven-page list of "action items" to be prioritized, Cipiti said, include Justin Goodwin, Julie Smiley, Debra Martin, Micaela Stratton, Michael Haugh and Carole Tomko.

"I think probably the most important step taken is to look at the plan realistically and determine what can be implemented at little or no cost, what can be implemented with volunteers rather than through the city," Tomko said last week.

The people on the panel represent diverse interests within Clintonville, she said, and bring different "skill sets" to following through on the action items.

"That being said, in spite of all that, there still are going to have to be a lot of bureaucratic hoops to jump through with the city, even with those things that are low or no cost," Tomko added.

She used the example of creating a bicycle boulevard within Clintonville, "which on paper looks like it should take six months or a year," but which probably would take much longer in terms of getting residents to agree and city employees to do the necessary painting and striping in the street.

"As an overall process in terms of defining priorities, getting people on the same page, making a list that's realistic, that work has been great," Tomko said. "Now it remains to be seen what bumps there are in the road."

Aspects of the plan that can be implemented largely through the efforts of volunteers, according to Cipiti, include:

Increasing the number of trees on public and private streets.

Providing signage and education to the public for bicycle and automobiles sharing selected streets in Clintonville.

Restoring ravine areas using practical ecological methods and planning for proper management in the future through the use of rain gardens and public education.

While it is not specifically recommended in the Clintonville Area Neighborhood Plan, Cipiti indicated that subcommittee members also have identified reducing the speed limit on North High Street to 25 mph as something that "would be a benefit to residents and merchants."

Other long-term objectives include adding bike lanes and bike sharing kiosks on priority streets, creating walking paths to improve pedestrian access to retail and services, and consider planted medians near selected intersections along High Street and Indianola Avenue, according to Cipiti.

"These are exciting projects that will improve the quality of life in Clintonville," he wrote. "Once the priorities are approved by the CAC, we will form the necessary task force groups to organize and implement the long and short-term projects."

Cipiti referred to the current members of the panel as "dedicated and talented volunteers," but added that more help could always be used.

"Because of the size and scope of these projects, we are asking that interested neighbors step forward and volunteer for the task force of their choice," Cipiti wrote. "The more volunteers we have, the sooner we will be able to implement these worthwhile improvements."

For more information or to volunteer for a task force, contact Cipiti at 267-1302 or at njac@ msn.com.

The planning and development committee meets on the third Thursday of every month at 6:30 p.m. at the Whetstone Recreation Center.